Pokemon Anime Facing Whitewashing Accusations

Controversy is easy to spark these days, and even the most friendly of franchises such as Pokemon aren't immune to criticism. In the last year, gamers were quick to call out the game ahead of Pokemon Sword and Shield's debut. In the months since, the fandom has calmed down quite a bit, but a brand-new episode of Pokemon: Twilight Wings has caused some fans to pipe up in protest.

Recently, The Pokemon Company put out a brand-new episode, and it was all about Bea. The gym leader should be familiar to gamers who tested out Pokemon Sword as she exclusively appeared in the title. The headstrong trailer loves Fighting-type Pokemon, and she will go to any length to take down Leon. This new episode dove into Bea's innate desire to win, but it was overshadowed by people who were concerned the character was whitewashed.

According to a report by Kotaku, Japanese site Hachima Kikou noticed the growing critique after checking Twitter. Fans took to social media to praise the episode's gorgeous animation, but some were concerned over Bea and her looks. The anime does color the gym leader in a noticeably lighter way, and fans from all over brought it up.

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Of course, you can imagine how the conversation escalated from there. Pokemon fans went back and forth over the ordeal, but reporter Brian Ashcraft did note a couple of explanations for the color snafu. For one, the episode took place in a dessert mostly which meant Bea was overexposed more often than not. A second explanation could come from Bea's name; The heroine is known as Saitou originally which is common in Japan. This detail has some thinking Bea was simply tanned in the games but this explanation isn't doing it for everyone. It will come down to you to decide where you stand on this ongoing debate.

What do you make of this controversy? Did you notice anything different with Bea's appearance? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

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